The program will allow students at Busan National University of Education to come to UCO. South Korean students already make up about 11 percent of UCO's international students, and university officials expect the partnership to increase that total.
Dustin Youngmoo Baek, a Korean student at UCO, said the university has been a good fit for him because it gave him a chance to connect with American culture.
Baek, a finance major, came to the United States after he was rejected by the university of his choice in South Korea. He initially considered trying to get into a college in Los Angeles, but he found the city distracting. And he said the Korean population is big enough there that it kept him from experiencing a culture that was different from his own.
“I didn't really feel like I was in America,” he said.
After he got past some confusion about cultural differences — tipping, for example, doesn't exist in South Korea — Baek came to feel welcome at UCO. He thinks Oklahoma has given him a better idea of American culture, and he's found it easier to focus on his studies without the distractions of a city the size of Los Angeles.
“I really like it,” he said. “It's been good.”